Since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, many celebrities have announced they are leaving the platform. However, so far "the threat of the great exodus" of Hollywood celebrities leaving the platform has been "disappointing," notes Business & Politics.
The celebrities who have decided to leave the social network point directly to the fact that it is now owned by Musk. The self-proclaimed "free speech absolutist" promised to make radical changes and stated that he is opposed to banning or moderating content that goes beyond what the law does to censor people's thoughts.
"Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned"
The list of celebrities starts with the creator of 'Grey's Anatomy,' Shonda Rhimes, who tweeted to her nearly 2 million followers that she would "not" stay on the social network "for whatever Elon has planned" thus offering her farewell:
Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye.
- shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022
Grammy-winning singer Sara Bareilles tweeted to her nearly 3 million followers, "Welp. It's been fun Twitter. I am leaving. See you on the other platforms, peeps."
"Sorry, this one's just not for me," Bareilles added, ending her post with emojis of hearts and hands in prayer.
Welp. It's been fun Twitter. I'm out. See you on other platforms, peeps. Sorry, this one's just not for me. ❤️🙏🏼
- Sara Bareilles (@SaraBareilles) October 30, 2022
In a tweet to her nearly 2 million followers, the Grammy-winning R&B star, Toni Braxton criticized the content she said she has seen on Twitter since Musk has been at the helm of the company, writing "I am shocked and appalled by some of the 'free speech' I've seen on this platform since its new acquisition," using an emoji of a black person.
I'm shocked and appalled at some of the "free speech" I've seen on this platform since its acquisition. Hate speech under the veil of "free speech" is unacceptable; therefore I am choosing to stay off Twitter as it is no longer a safe space for myself, my sons and other POC.
- Toni Braxton (@tonibraxton) October 29, 2022
Mick Foley, an actor and retired professional wrestler, said in a post on his Facebook page that he is taking a "break" from Twitter "since the new ownership - and the misinformation and hate it seems to be encouraging - has my stomach in a knot."
"I really enjoy connecting with all of you on social media, but it can get overwhelming sometimes. I think I'll be back on in a few weeks, but in the meantime, I will continue to post on Facebook and Instagram.... I hope you all will be kind to one another...".... "Please vote" - in reference to the upcoming midterm elections - "if you can too - our democracy seems to be hanging on by a thread," he added. (Foley's Twitter account appears to be deactivated).
Alex Winter is an actor best known for playing Bill in the Bill & Ted movie saga, alongside Keanu Reeves. The filmmaker deactivated his account sometime after the Musk acquisition. His online bio now reads "Not Here" and has links to his Instagram profile.
Elon Musk, who took over Twitter and turned it into a private company with less oversight, immediately made the platform more prone to hate speech, targeted attacks and the spread of disinformation.... If Twitter returns to being a public company run by rational people, many of us will return.
All of these claims and goodbyes are left up in the air when you see that Braxton, Rhimes and Bareilles' accounts are still active, even though they haven't posted anything for several days. Other celebrities have deactivated their accounts.
At Voz Media we want to see how many of these celebrities will keep their word to leave the platform completely. In a month's time, we'll see who is true to their word or who has been tempted to interact with their followers again.
A trolling campaign aimed at testing the limits of the company's moderation has caused there to be increased hate speech on the platform since new ownership took the helm. The Net Contagion Research Institute reported that use of the word "nigger" increased 500% since Musk's ownership. Bloomberg reported that anti-Semitic postings had a significant increase.
Elon Musk's Twitter takeover sparked a surge in the use of the N-word on the social media platform.
A social media research group told The Washington Post the use of the slur increased by nearly 500%. https://t.co/49CJVwuyIe
- philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) October 29, 2022
The Tesla CEO retweeted a Twitter employee assuring that the accounts responsible for this attack are not authentic and that the company is working to disable them.
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
Musk reaffirms his commitment to free speech, but also assures investors and advertisers that he does not intend for the site to become a "hellhole for everyone." He also said that so far there have been no changes in the company's moderation while he awaits to convene an internal council to make radical political decisions. Musk's plans for the social networking platform are to "honor the First Amendment rights of its users."
By "free speech", I simply mean that which matches the law.
I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law.
If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect.
Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2022